Last summer, Prevent Child Abuse Arizona debuted Flourishing Families, a curriculum designed to teach family service professionals, actionable ways that they can help parents/caregivers build protective factors in their families. The five protective factors, identified by the Center for the Study of Social Policy, help keep families strong, make sure children develop optimally, and prevent child abuse and neglect. They are:
- Parental resilience
- Social connections
- Knowledge of parenting and child development
- Concrete support in times of need
- Social and emotional competence of children
Most family-serving professionals know about the protective factors, but many do not have specific tools to work with caregivers to build them. That’s why Sandi Cimino, Rhegan Derfus, Claire Louge, Sara Martinez, and Brandi Samaniego, who are all trainers certified to teach the Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors Framework, designed Flourishing Families: to offer professionals specific activities that teach protective factors to families.
Strong Families Arizona, Arizona’s Home Visiting Alliance, has been a key partner in funding the design and debut of the training curriculum. Strong Families Arizona remains invested in the work by funding four trainings for early childhood home visitors scheduled next year. Trainings to other agencies are also being provided. In October, Prevent Child Abuse Arizona completed a three-day training of the program to Lori’s Place in Sierra Vista, AZ, which plans to use the resource to empower parents affected by interpersonal violence. In September, the training reached as far as Wisconsin when the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board requested to have their parent educators trained in Flourishing Families. Here is what our Wisconsin friends had to say about the training:
- “I love how this material can be used in many different ways. I can use it with my home visits and with my parenting group.”
- “[My favorite part was] the activities and details on how to strengthen families by empowering the parent and techniques to have the parent recognize their strengths.”
- “The variety of activities throughout the training is amazing. There will always be one that will work.”
Flourishing Families trainings are one example of how our programs continue to enrich and invigorate professionals, even through a virtual platform.
- “You created an incredibly warm and supportive environment for learning. I truly appreciated the time you took to ensure it was a safe space – even virtually – and made sure that everyone had a voice and the opportunity to participate.”
- “Without a doubt, the best training I attended this year (I mean it).”
- “The Arizona team just came to life, and the meaning came right through, as did their enthusiasm – their heart for protective factors and families.”